Each of the five 50,000-ton vessels can carry 330,000 barrels or oil or be converted to to ship liquified natural gas. The ships are energy efficient and incorporate environmental protection features.
“This is an exciting time in the U.S. maritime industry. These Jones Act product tankers demonstrate implementation of state-of-the-art design technologies that achieve world-leading fuel efficiencies and also represent new jobs in our shipyard,” said Parker Larson, director of commercial programs for NASSCO.
The five-tanker contract has helped grow NASSCO’s workforce to nearly 3,800. NASSCO began construction on the first tanker under the current contract in September 2014.
“We are very pleased to be commencing construction of our third ECO Class tanker at NASSCO. These world-class vessels will be a welcome addition to the APT fleet as we continue to strive toward providing our customers with the highest level of service,” said Rob Kurz, president of American Petroleum Tankers.
The Jones Act requires ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports to be built, crewed and owned by Americans. The nearly century-old act has led to increased business for NASSCO — the last major shipyard on the West Coast — as U.S. oil and gas production has grown in recent years.
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